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Published Jul. 20, 2018

If you really love your car then you want to give it somewhere nice to live, right? A car’s home is the garage, and what is the part of the garage that everyone sees? The doors, of course. So, you want to pick the best garage door paint you can.

Okay, we are joking around a little, but at the same time a garage door that is flaking, peeling and rusting is a real eyesore. There are, however, a range of paints that are suitable for fixing them up and making them look great. So think of it as a nice job for a weekend, and check out our guide to the best paint for garage doors.

When you’ve finished with the guide scroll on down to the buyer’s guide and FAQ for tips on the features to look out for when paint shopping and tips on how to use it to its best advantage.  Then simply load up the cooler with a few beers and spend a bit of time making your garage look as good as it can.

The Best Paint For Garage Doors

If Batman was going to paint his garage doors, he would probably choose this paint by POR-15. And not just because it’s black and its semi-gloss finish will really go well with the Batmobile’s color aesthetic. But also because it’s tough – very, very tough.

The manufacturer promises that this garage paint will not crack, chip or peel and that is a level of toughness that will keep this product looking great for a long time. It’s a backed up claim too – this product is primarily designed for painting places like pickup truck beds. Anyone with a truck can testify that the bed of a pickup sees a lot of abuse over the years. So if this product is tough enough for that, simply hanging out on your garage door should be a breeze.

This product is not cheap and has a price point that will put some people off. Smart people though will see this product for what it is – an investment. Buy it, follow the instructions and prep your garage door properly. Paint it – the product paints thin too, so a gallon goes a long way – add a protective topcoat and boom, you don’t have to worry about your garage door again for a long, long time.

Key Features
  • Very Hard & Very Durable
  • Thin Coat Application
  • Paints Straight Over Rust
  • Will Not Crack, Chip or Peel
Specification
  • Brand POR-15
  • Model 45401
  • Weight 9.63 lbs

Rust-Oleum has a long pedigree of producing excellent and hardwearing specialist paints. It has been doing it for nearly a century, having been founded in 1921. That may explain how it built up the knowledge to produce so many top-quality products, and this one is the first of two Rust-Oleum produced paints to make our list.

Like the product we just looked at from POR-15, this is a product whose primary function is not as garage door paint. It is actually marine paint, and by that we mean boats and not jarheads – do not use this paint on any marines or we will not be held responsible for the outcome. What that does mean is that a number of very useful features designed for boat painting carry over to the application on your garage door.

The most impressive of which is the fact this is a multi-surface product – it can be painted on fiberglass, wood and metal, a very useful feature. Whatever surface it goes on this paint is also quick drying and forms a highly durable, high-gloss surface with built-in UV protection. 

All in all, a really good paint with a pretty low price tag.

Key Features
  • Use on Variety of Surfaces
  • Oil Based Formula
  • Covers a Large Area
  • Built in UV Protection
Specification
  • Brand Rust-Oleum
  • Model 206999
  • Weight 2.45 lbs

Here is another product that is primarily designed for use on boats but with a sideline as garage door paint, but it should also be pointed out that this is wood garage door paint only.

It is very easy to clean and dries to a very durable surface that boasts extremely high abrasion protection. It’s also easy to apply, being paint with high solids content. This means it rolls on nice and easy, and you only have to apply a couple of thin layers to get a really good finish. It also has a self-leveling formula to provide an even coat.

The real standout feature with this product though has nothing to do with its boat paint based features – it’s actually the fact that there are so many colors to choose from. There are in fact 21, ranging from oyster white to aqua blue and vibrant yellow to deep greens. That represents a color range that frankly no other paint on this list can match.

Key Features
  • Wide Range of Colors
  • Easy to Clean
  • Self-Leveling Formula for Great Results
Specification
  • Brand TotalBoat
  • Model
  • Weight 1 quart

First off, props on the name – if we were Pro Wrestlers, we would choose Rust Bullet as our ring name. Second, props for being a very interesting, very unique paint that is well suited for use as garage door paint.

Yes that’s right, his paint is both very interesting and very unique. No, we’re not crazy on paint fumes, because it’s actually true. This paint boasts a totally unique formula protected by no less than two US Patents. There are a number of built-in features that jumped out at us, but the fact it requires little to no prep was a big winner. Yes, clean the surface down a bit but it’s designed to pretty much just go over anything including rust.

Once it’s on it’s low maintenance too, and it doesn’t need a topcoat to add any protection. That’s going to save you time and money, both of which are things that none of us can afford to spend lightly. It’s tough too, with built-in UV protection and a promise from the manufacturer that the product won’t crack or fade.

It’s one of the more expensive paints on the list true, but you are getting a well-designed product for your money.

Key Features
  • Very Easy to Use
  • Paint Direct Over Rust
  • No Top Coat Required
  • Built in UV Protection
Specification
  • Brand Rust Bullet
  • Model 8.56084E+11
  • Weight 2.7 lbs

This is our second product from Rust-Oleum, however, this one boasts a Hammered Finish. Which means that the paint dries to a very attractive patterned finish that makes the metal look like it has been worked to a machined finish.

In addition to looking really nice, this kind of surface is also very good at covering up dents, dings and scrapes on the door surface. If your garage door is showing a bit of wear and tear, this could be a great option to easily cover up those offending marks and signs of damage.

As well as its great finished appearance this is also a pretty tough paint too. It is weather and corrosion resistant and also has built-in protection against fading, chipping and general abrasion. It’s also multi-surface and can be painted onto wood and metal as well as concrete and masonry, so it has a wide range of potential applications.

It’s also available in a slightly wider color range than some other paints on this list – though there are not the 21 colors we saw with the TotalBoat product. But with eight colors to choose from there’s still a lot of variety.

Key Features
  • Weather & Corrosion Resistant
  • Attractive Finish
  • Hides Flaws and Dents in Door Surface
  • Fade and Chip Resistance
Specification
  • Brand Rust-Oleum
  • Model 7215502
  • Weight 2.15 lbs

Best Paint For Garage Doors Buying Guide & FAQ

So there are some pretty interesting products on that list, right? Probably more interesting than you thought it was going to be, huh? It’s cool, don’t worry and now you know all the cool features that the best paint for garage doors can be packing, you’re in a better position to pick the best paint for you.

Things to Consider When Buying Paint for Garage Doors

Primer Free – Most, but not all of the paints on this list are going to require a primer to be laid down before you get handy with the brushes and rollers. Whilst there is a load of benefits to using primer, at the same time no one can deny it can be a bit of a pain in the backside. Decide now if you want to do the job properly (and get a primer) or if you want to do it quick. The downside of course is that primer free paint is notoriously hit and miss, and you may not get the long lifespan you’re looking for.

Top Coat Free – Very similar to the section above, do you want to invest the extra time required to add a top coat (or two)? Again, there is a whole range of benefits to adding a clear, protective topcoat but again it is really going to add time to the project. Unlike a primer, it’s not always necessary for a topcoat to be applied if you’re selecting paint with built in high-end protective features such as UV protection.

Finish – What do you want your doors to end up looking like – and we’re not just talking color here. There is a range of finishes available, each with different plus points. They are:

  • Matt – If you have an old, beaten up garage door this could be the best option for it. It produces a non-reflective finish with no shine, which can really help to cover up dents and dings.
  • Gloss – The absolute opposite of Matt, it has a very shiny finish. It is also often remarkably durable, with a nice long life span.
  • Satin/Silk – A good middle ground between the two finishes above, it has a semi-gloss finish with relativity low sheen.
  • Hammered Effect – A great, decorative option, it dries to give a distressed, machined or “hammered” finish. It’s another great option for helping old garage doors look good again.

Surface Type – What is your garage door made off? There is metal garage door paint, there is wood garage door paint and there are even a few paint products that can be applied to multiple surfaces. Make sure you’re selecting the right one, and if you have a door that has a range of materials – such as wood frame or trim over a metal door panel – a paint that’s suitable for use on multiple surfaces could save you some time and money.

Toughness – Look, no one here at Car Bibles is a good liar (that’s why we’re all so bad at poker) so we’re not going to sit here and tell you that painting the garage door is a fun way to spend a weekend – even if it is a necessary job from time to time. The tougher the paint you select, the longer you can go between re-painting times.

painting garage doors

Benefits of Painting Garage Doors

Protection. Whether you’ve got your car parked in the garage, a workbench full of tools or even both, you want to give them as much protection as you can. A painted garage door can stand up to the elements better than a poorly maintained one that’s just a sheet of rust held together with duct tape. A healthy, well painted garage door with have the strength and structural integrity to stand up to the elements and also potentially to thieves too, playing its part in protecting your stuff.

Looks. A garage isn’t just a box tacked on to your property – it actually is your property. So just invest a little time and effort in painting the floors and the doors and help it look as good as it can. A well-maintained, nicely painted garage is an asset instead of an eyesore.

Wood vs Metal Garage Doors

If perhaps you’re currently building a garage, or if you have one already but the doors are just too gone in terms of age that a simple coat of paint won’t be enough to fix them, it’s worth considering the material your new doors will be built off. There are some pro and cons to both of these materials, so it’s worth considering them before you make your selection.

Weight – Metal wins this one, hands down. It can just pack so much strength into a thinner layer that it really helps to keep the weight down. Bear the weight in mind because either you or the garage motor is going to have move it every day.

Life Span – Metal takes it here too. A good metal door – especially of steel or aluminum – is better able to face up to the elements, especially rain and snow. Metal doors can be prone to rusting, but good garage paint will help to protect against that.

Aesthetics – A wooden door is going to look better than a metal one in most instances. Wood is just such an appealing material to work with. As we’ve seen in the product list above there are also a lot more color options when it comes to wood garage door paint.

Upkeep – Wood is going to need a bit more upkeep though, and it will probably need to be painted every few years or you’re going to see issues like rot set in. Metal doors are that bit hardier, so you only really need to paint them again when the paint itself starts to look dull and faded. If you pick a very tough paint, that can be quite a long time before that starts to happen.

Best Garage Door Paint FAQ:

Roll up, roll up! Get your garage door paint questions answered here!

Q:  What tools am I going to need?

  Whilst painting a garage door is a pretty simple process, it is going to be even easier – and give the best possible results – if you don’t start until you have all your tools lined up. Every case will be slightly different of course, but broadly speaking you are going to need:

  • Brushes – Good quality ones of various sizes to get into the corners and the tighter angles.
  • Rollers – To cover larger areas with paint quickly, because you don’t want to be out there all day, do you?
  • Tarp/Old Sheet – To cover up the floor and protect from paint drips.
  • Tape – Tape up areas – like the frame – that you don’t want to paint.
  • Stepladders – If you need to access the upper areas of the doors.
  • Cooler – Fill it with beer and ice for when you finish.

Q:  Should I prepare my garage door before painting?

  Even if the paint you have bought specifically states that no prep is required, if you want the best results then you should spend a little time making sure the garage doors are prepped and ready to go. It’s all pretty simple stuff too. The golden rule is to clean it. Make sure that garage door is sparkling before you crack the lid off the paint can. Use all the cleaning tools in your arsenal and get into all the grooves and corners. Ensure the door is crystal clean, and then make sure it is completely dry before you start to apply the paint.  If this is the first coat on a bare surface consider using a primer to prep the surface for the paint. It will add to the paint’s durability and also give you a great finish. If you’re painting over old paint, make sure it is not cracked or flaking. Lightly rub the surface with sandpaper from the finer end of the roughness scale to produce a roughed up surface that the new paint can bond too.

Q:  How often should I paint my garage door?

It really depends on the durability of the product you’ve chosen and the weather where you live. 3 years would be about average, after that most paint will start to fade and even peel. garage door paint

Our Top Pick

Not just because it comes recommended by our good pal Batman but for a whole host of other reasons too – it’s got to be the POR-15 Semi Gloss Rest Preventative paint. Just as we mentioned in our review above it is not a cheap product. But then there is the fact that is so tough, that it is so long lasting and that it is going to stick around for so long without cracking or peeling. All that means you should be looking at this product as a solid, long-term investment, that will more than pay for itself over the many years it will stick around looking great on your garage door.

Another feature of the best paint for garage doors is that you don’t need a PHD to apply it. Yes, you do need to prep the surface a little but making it as clean as possible and yes you do need to add a protective top coat if you want the very best results (and given the products price tag, why wouldn’t you?) But it also paints on thin, so a single can does go a long way, and it can also paint straight over rust. Not having to remove that from the metal surface before painting is frankly a huge deal, because as anyone who has done it before knows removing rust is a huge pain in the backside.

So easy to apply, long lasting and great semi-gloss finish explain why this is the best garage door paint on the market today.

Sources:

  1. How to Paint an Aluminum Garage Door – DoItYourself
  2. How to Paint a Garage Door – BobVila

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